Several members of the Eat Something Sexy team are, sadly, lactose intolerant. (They’re not alone. In fact, it is estimated that 12% of the American population has a dairy intolerance.) But it means no decadent cream soups or cheese and sour cream-laden nachos around our office! Well, that is until Green Valley Creamery decided to get into the dairy-free game.
And when we were approached to give Green Valley Creamery lactose-free dairy products, including sour cream, kefir, cream cheese, and yogurt a try, we were as excited as children being handed free ice cream cones.
Note that we originally reviewed Green Valley Organics lactose-free products in 2011. This article has been updated to reflect changes in this growing line of high-quality dairy products.
The challenge of making lactose-free dairy products
Why don’t more companies offer lactose-free dairy products? While producing lactose-free milk isn’t too challenging, apparently it’s much harder to culture lactose-free milk into things like yogurt. But Green Valley has mastered the technique.
My review of Green Valley Lactose-Free Plain Kefir
We’ve tried the entire line and there’s really little to no flavor difference between these and their dairy counterparts. Of course, in order to appreciate lactose-free kefir, you need to know what kefir is and why it’s so desirable.
What is kefir?
Kefir is fresh milk that’s fermented with live and active cultures. The resulting fermented milk product, which tastes a bit like liquid yogurt, is considered an incredibly beneficial health food because it is nutrient-dense. Green Valley’s kefir offers 11 grams of protein and 30% of the daily calcium requirement. It also offers a variety of bioactive compounds with a multitude of potential health benefits, some of which will directly impact sexual health as well as overall health. Kefir is linked with improved cholesterol metabolism and support to the immune system. It may even diminish some allergies and fight certain cancers. The probiotics in kefir are also believed to support gum and tooth health. Due to its complexity, more research is needed to truly understand all the benefits of this liquid superfood.
Kefir is a creamy drink and normally tastes like a sour version of plain yogurt. Depending on how it’s made, the texture can vary from runny to almost as thick as cream.
The plain Green Valley Creamery whole milk kefir is a dense, rich and decadent version. It has a mildly sour flavor and good body. It’s neither too thin or too thick to be a satisfying drink. (Imagine an unflavored yogurt smoothie.) Green Valley also offers a low fat kefir which has a slightly less robust body but similar flavor. Their Blueberry, Pomegranate, Acai kefir is a bit like an intense, fruit yogurt shake.
I love using it in cooking and find that it even works as a substitute for buttermilk. Because it is high in probiotics, it’s best used in cold applications to maintain the probiotic benefits. However, if you just want it for the flavor, it’s also great in hot soups and baked goods. Here’s a link to my favorite kefir recipe, my summery sweet corn soup, which is served at room temperature or chilled.
More Green Valley organic, lactose-free and gluten-free products
Although the Green Valley Creamery lactose-free products are geared toward the no-dairy market, they are made from high-quality, gluten-free, organic ingredients, making them suitable for a wide variety of diets. As for the taste, our dairy-friendly friends can taste little or no difference from traditional products.
Green Valley’s cream cheese is very similar in flavor to popular cream cheese brands. A spreadable cream cheese packaged in 8-oz containers, it is dense but spreads easily and would be a welcome topping to any bagel.
The company also makes bar, shredded and sliced lactose-free cheeses. I have only tried the bars, which come in cheddar, mozzarella, jack and pepper jack flavors. They’re similar to your average grocery store brands, only if you’re lactose intolerant like me, these are the only cheeses you can enjoy in limitless amounts.
As delicious as the kefir, the Green Valley Creamery yogurts are satisfyingly thick with just the right amount of tang. My favorite is the plain but the product also comes in vanilla, blueberry and strawberry flavors. There’s also a choice of lowfat and whole milk in the plain variety. (I recommend the whole milk yogurt for cooking and baking.)
This is my favorite of the Green Valley products after the kefir. After spending a lifetime of scooping sour cream off of dishes and avoiding potluck dips, I can now happily eat sour cream-rich dishes all day long. Although I’m not expert on the nuances of various sour cream brands, I find this product satisfyingly thick and extremely easy to work with in cooking.
Green Valley Creamery also makes lactose-free cottage cheese and butter. At the time of writing, our staff has yet to try these products.
Note that all the products initially tasted for this review were supplied by Green Valley Creamery. Products tasted for the article update were purchased at full price by the Eat Something Sexy editorial staff.
This article was written in 2011 and most recently updated in June 2023.
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